By: Adam Tortelli ~Staff Writer~
With only three games remaining in the season, Xavier women’s basketball suffered a tough, nail-biting defeat by the Providence Friars.
The game gave fans in Rhode Island a show worth every penny as the Musketeers went back and forth until the Friars pulled out a 61-59 victory.
Head coach Brian Neal’s team now moves to 8-19 (3-11 Big East) as they look to build momentum on the weekend’s hard fought battle
Freshman forward Maddison Blackwell performed well, earning her first career double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Solid contributions were also made by sophomore forward Briana Glover, senior guard Ashley Wanniger and sophomore guard Aliyah Zantt as all three mustered double digits to compliment Blackwell’s career outing.
The game itself was neck-and-neck all afternoon. Despite roaring out of the gates with an 8-2 run to start the game, the Musketeers found themselves down by two at halftime by a score of 20-18.
Neither team was able to shoot better than 25 percent from the field in the first frame.
Xavier found the lead once again with less than 10 minutes left in the game at 38-37 and would pad the difference by as many as five points.
After going back and forth for most of the second half, Providence gained the final edge when sophomore forward Evi Iiskola drove to the basket and was awarded a foul with just over 20 seconds left. The Friars would hold this 61-59 edge until the final buzzer sounded.The Muskie’s defense held them in the game after a subpar offensive performance.
The Musketeers lost at Butler 57-52 Tuesday night to extend their losing streak to 10 games and fall to 3-13 in the Big East.
Seniors will say goodbye to Cintas Center in a matchup on March 1 against Villanova.
The ladies end the year at Seton Hall on March 4 before making the march to New York City for Big East tournament play.